Middle Atlas Mountains
From Fès it was a southward journey to
the coldest city in Morocco. It is situated in the Middle
Atlas Mountains at 5595 feet. It is a French built town
and commonly called "Little
Switzerland." We had a chance to walk in the town
with it's cool mountain air and clear streams. It's a
great place for hiking and cyclists.
The surrounding mountains reach 7000 feet.
While going through the Cedar
Forest, we were allowed off the
bus to walk a mile or two in the woods then back to the
road. It was nice to stretch the legs. We passed
many Berber families living in huts or tents.
Then a nice surprise. Our guide stopped at
one of the Berber huts on the side of a hill to ask if we could
visit. The family had 300 sheep. The couple had 4
children and 2 half sisters living there. During the
summer they live in a tent. The hut is only for the
winter. We were served mint tea and bread.
The Mid-Atlas Mountains were crossed as we
Midelt for lunch in the Kasbah Asma. Some
leftover food was saved since we heard about
"unemployed" or wild dogs along the road. We saw
a few but stopped only to feed one. The
did not have much vegetation, except along the small Ziz River.
One of the towns in the Ziz Valley was
Er-Rachidia which, we are
told, has a large military base since we were close to the Algerian
border. There was also a university, hospital, high school,
and a hydro-electric plant. This is considered an oasis
town. We saw many women in their
In contrast the Arab women wore colored outer clothing.
The Ziz Valley was followed all the way to
Erfoud where we transferred to 4-wheel drive Land Rovers to
continue our trip to the --> Sahara Desert.